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[387] seizure or oppression, and no charge could ever rest against him for the slightest impropriety in the exercise of so delicate a trust. With such power of controlling the shipment of articles of necessity which offered certain high profits, it would have been easy to have enriched himself by millions if he had perverted the functions of his position, but to his honor be it said, that he neither enriched himself or friends to the extent of a farthing. So governing the administration of his office that all his energies were devoted solely to the service of his people, content with the humble fare and the simplest form of a soldier's life.

His headquarters during the fall and winter of 1864-5 were at Wytheville, as more central than Dublin and near the scene of possible operations. In December, near its middle, General Stoneman advanced from East Tennessee with a heavy cavalry force, while Burbridge came from Kentucky, the two effecting a junction and capturing Abingdon before meeting with any serious resistance. They also subsequently captured Saltville and Wytheville; but such was the vigor of General Breckinridge's movements and the skill of his dispositions, that with his meagre force he repulsed them at Marion after an engagement lasting all day, and compelled their return to the points whence they came, without accomplishing any material results. In a few weeks all the railroad bridges which had been burned were rebuilt — salt making resumed, the lead mines in operation, and supplies going steadily forward as before. General Lee's expressions of gratification and thanks for such efficiency were frequent and of the most cordial character. In fact, from his earliest association with him — from Breckinridge's first visit to him in February, 1864, to confer with him pending his assuming command in Virginia — there had existed the warmest relations, and General Lee never missed an opportunity to give expression to his confidence and esteem. With Breckinridge the feelings were reciprocated, he entertaining an exalted respect for General Lee, both as a soldier and a man.

It was during the raid of Stoneman that the following occurred: General Breckinridge was at Saltville with his principal force, hoping to be able to defend it from capture against a superior force. He had lost much sleep, and in such cases possessed the faculty of going a long time without repose, and then making up for lost time by a long sleep, being able to sleep twenty-four hours after having been several nights with little or no sleep. He had his headquarters at the house of a citizen, and had succeeded in getting to

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